TWO NEW BUSINESSES HIT HISTORIC DOWNTOWN
DISTRICT ON MARIN STREET
(Something to do TONIGHT in Vallejo! -- It's a Speakeasy!)
By Paula McConnell
Over the last few months two new businesses have come into downtown Vallejo right across the street from the Vallejo Naval Historical Museum. The building which formerly housed the ever-so-popular “Book Lovers Haven” at 725 Marin St. now houses a new ‘over forty’ club called ‘Conversations.’ Owner Patricia Irvin has created this ‘Over Forty Club’ designated for the more mature crowd. She does not encourage the younger ‘baggy pants’ segment to apply.
Conversations is a private club which encourages a seasoned audience to come in and enjoy music by day. By night, Irvin invites bay area musicians in to play Jazz, Blues, and other music. Musicians typically come around to “jam,” “compose” or just feel the music. Irvin’s concept is strictly that of an exclusive club atmosphere; she requests a modest fee to join. When professional bands perform, however, the general public is invited and there will be a modest cover charge. Interestingly enough, there are no signs indicating what occurs on the property, and there are heavy curtains covering the windows. Furthermore, many of the surrounding neighbors do not yet know of the Conversations club’s existence.
Well known Vallejo musician, and political figure, Darrell Edwards will play this evening featuring his ‘Heavy Weather Band’ which plays Jazz, Blues, Rock n’ Roll and Inspirational music. As many Vallejoans will remember, Edwards ran for Vallejo City Council twice in past years. “This is like a little ‘Speakeasy’ place,” Edwards said. “It is private. There are no signs, and the general public is only invited when there is a paid gig, otherwise, I think you must join as a member, but I am not totally sure how it works,” he said. “Patricia Irvin has been operating this club since November or December of last year, and as far as I know, I am one of the only performers who has been able to invite the non-club member public,” Darrell boasted. The cover for tonight’s gig will be $8.00 at the door, and the action will start at 9:00p.m. When asked how he discovered the new club, Edwards said: “I was on a daily walk one day last November. I saw these people moving this equipment in along with some furniture. So I inquired. I soon officially joined the club, and look forward to playing my music there often,” Edwards said. As some may also remember, Darrell Edwards was a frequent, popular crowd pleaser at the now defunct Havannah Sol restaurant on downtown’s Virginia Street. He recently came in second in his category at a renown bay area talent contest.
Right next door to Conversations at 727 Marin is a new shop called HR Variety Shop which sells Hunid racks products, white t-shirts, beanie caps, zig-zags, jewelry, incense, black soap, hats, NFL,NBA MLB sportswear, college accessories, male enhancement items, virgin Indian hair, school movies, FEDS magazines, socks, sun glasses, etc. The owner of this shop calls himself ‘Showtime,’ and one of his clerks, Jason Williams, from San Pablo tells us that he would like to “make it in the music business.” ‘Showtime’ is in the process of building his inventory and will eventually have the capacity to make any t-shirt someone might desire. “You will be able to bring in your photo, or what you want the shirt to say,” said Williams. “I am a graphic artist, and I have the capability of creating a shirt to anyone’s specifications,” Jason continued. “Please tell people to stop in, if they don’t see what they want, we can probably get it for them,” he said. Showtime’s shop hours are from 10a.m. to 6p.m.